Bucs’ “Secret Weapons”

August 16th, 2021

Lethal with time.

The Bucs have an offense most coaches can only dream about.

It’s a virtual Pro Bowl of weapons. Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, Ronald Jones and Playoff Lenny.

But in the mind of Ajit Kirpekar of Football Outsiders, the real heroes of the Bucs’ offense are the five guys that play in the trenches.

The Super Bowl Champions had a lot of stars on offense. Tom Brady set a team record with 40 touchdown passes. Mike Evans caught 13 of those scores, also a franchise-best. Leonard Fournette racked up nearly 450 yards from scrimmage in the playoffs alone. The best players on that Buccaneers offense, however, may have been the linemen: Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen, Alex Capp, and Tristan Wirfs.

Football Outsiders has a thing called “pressure rate” that measures how often quarterbacks feel the heat. Football Outsiders also has a stat that measures the time a quarterback takes to throw.

So in Kirpekar’s research, only once in Brady’s 21-year career has he felt less pressure than what the Bucs’ offensive line provided him last year.

Perhaps as a direct result, Brady didn’t need much time at all releasing the ball. Combine the two, and Kirpekar is convinced the reason why Brady went from being washed up with the Belicheats to being reborn with the Bucs is because of the jobs that Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, Ryan Jensen, Alex Cappa and Tristan Wirfs did last year.

Only on 15.0 percent of the passing snaps did Brady feel heat from pass rushers.

The last time Brady has such freedom in the pocket was in 2007, when Brady felt pressure on 14.9 percent of the passing plays.

And in 2007, the Belicheats had an undefeated season only to lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl because — all together now — the Giants pressured Brady.

Only one team gave their quarterback less pass rush pressure than the Bucs, and that was the Steelers at 14.9 percent.

Simply put, a guy who has a Waco Kid-like release like Brady, if you give him time to throw he will murder defenses. And that’s just what Brady did, even as an old man at 43

24 Responses to “Bucs’ “Secret Weapons””

  1. PassingThru Says:

    It’s not just the release Joe. It’s Brady’s processing time before releases the ball. It’s the shortest you’ll see among any active QB in the NFL. Since Brady is a fast processor with a quick release, his pressure rate will make solid OLines look fantastic.

    Brady had some decent OLines in New England, not absolutely top-tier but very good, typically in the top 8 to 12 range or so. His final year there was a mess though, as the OLine had to hold their pass blocking for much longer stretches as the WRs and TEs couldn’t achieve separation. Belichick the GM was either trying to turn the Patriots into a running team, or he simply failed at drafting, prioritizing, and signing pass-catching talent. Mostly likely it was a combination of both factors.

    The OLine also stank that final season. The OLine was uncharacteristically awful due to injuries. They were inept at pass protection and run blocking. All of that together made the casual football fans (and perhaps some useless GMs) believe that Brady was washed, when in fact he was playing poker with a pair of deuces.

  2. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Everything that Brady did for the Bucs inside of one year by absolutely changing the losing culture of this franchise that had been forged in the fire, bringing confidence to the players and coaches alike, being a true franchise player and putting it on his back and willing it to a crushing win in the Super Bowl in a season during a world shut down by a pandemic, no off season practices, training camp, preseason games coming to a new team and learning a new offense and players and coaches he most definitely deserved league MVP last year. Unfortunately that was still a popularity contest and a man who had never come from behind to win when his team was down at the half Shaaron Rodgers was gifted it. He’s absolutely the man the myth the legend, the greatest free agent signing in Bucs history. The Bucs now will always be tied to his greatness especially if he pulls off a trifecta of Super Bowl championships. He deserves to be put in the Bucs Ring of honor while he’s still playing

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The oline is great….but it’s a combination of WRs getting open and, in particular, TB reading defenses and finding the open receiver quickly……he doesn’t get pressured because he gets rid of the ball….and if there is nothing there, he doesn’t wait for something to happen….he dumps the ball off or throws it away.

    The dump off is why we needed Gio…..

  4. Thisisouryear!! Says:

    Passing thru is exactly right. It’s the processing time. I was encouraged watching trask Saturday night because I think he is trying to do the same.

  5. Darin Says:

    Release time is the result of processing time. He aint the best for no reason. It hurts getting hit so he prefers the easy money

  6. PassingThru Says:

    Release time refers to the throwing mechanics Darin.

  7. Youngbucs Says:

    Hey Webster were you at that’s the last oline you talking about? They all just got here right?

  8. Youngbucs Says:

    Belichick sucks at drafting players oneilbucs better check his sheets.

  9. Jay Molina Says:

    I get competition between outlets, but I think it is a bit classless of Jos Bucs Fan not to acknowledge the passing of Mark Cook of Pewter Report. He was after all a colleague. The Bucs certainly did.

  10. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    @Jay Molina I too was expecting something about Mark Cook.
    But Joe said he did not feel comfortable profiting because of a colleagues death, so that why no article appeared.
    Marks death was discussed by Ira in a podcast it is said.

  11. Medicated Pete Says:

    William Gholston @ the 11:16 mark in the 1st Qtr body slammed a dude so hard that he could’ve been arrested

  12. MidAtlanticBucsFan Says:

    @PassingThru – with your level of expertise and analysis, you ought to start your own blog! Impressive, scout!

  13. Bossman2543 Says:

    Joe, could you lose the “Belicheats” moniker please. 20 years of NFL domination didn’t happen from cheating. There’s two events, filming and low pressure balls in 20 years. Both issues were in the end seriously in dispute and the team/coach/qb paid the price for those. If anything with respect to the ball issue, Brady was treated grossly unfairly by Goodell and the NFL. The moniker Belicheats came from Don Shula, a great coach to be sure. But he doesn’t have Belichick’s resume by a long stretch and there are just too many coaches and NFL historians who hold Belichick in the highest esteem. A little respect please.

  14. Joe Says:

    I get competition between outlets, but I think it is a bit classless of Jos Bucs Fan not to acknowledge the passing of Mark Cook

    Um. We did. And you should really do research before you start throwing around the word “classless.” *Especially* concerning this subject.

  15. Bird Says:

    Oline played great for sure
    It will be an interesting next year for oline

    Cappa and jensen looking to get paid
    How will donovan smith perform ?
    Does wirfs stay on right side?

  16. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    @PassingThru, one of your best posts. Good job and well thought out. TB was lacking weapons his last year, so Oline had to block a little longer and the end result was they all looked bad – Tom Brady was washed up!! (or washed ashore in Tampa Bay, thankfully!)

    So the same is happening with the Bucs, just in reverse. Skill positions are awesome, which makes (a very smart) QB processing faster/easier which makes the Oline look like stars. Its a team game.

  17. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Bossman, not sure how filming another team is in serious dispute? I think the Pats admitted it, if I recall correctly. Seeing you are in Bucs country, I would advise being a little less sensitive about Belicheat. I don’t know, but I think the vast majority of people, including Joe(s) respect him as a coach (sucks as a GM, IMO). He is clearly great. But as this is not the place of Patriot Worshiping, your not going to find that here, ever!

  18. Crickett Baker Says:

    There was one play by Jamel Dean that stood way out to me. He got flattened full on the ground and somehow got up and tackled the ball carrier. This was a couple highlights after the Brady sack. The guy got a first down but would have had more if it wasn’t for Dean’s amazing play that no one seems to mention.

  19. Buczilla Says:

    Mark Cook seemed like a good dude and I did read his stuff occasionally. What happened to him at such a young age is tragic, especially for his family. There is zero reason to bash the Joe’s for not writing something about him on THEIR blog. If y’all listened to the podcast, you would know that they were not necessarily bossom buddies with Cook. Despite that, they each had the class to say very nice things about the guy and acknowledged his accomplishments as a writer for our team.

  20. Jay Molina Says:

    Joe, if you did, could you send me the link? I am a daily reader and I searched and searched before I posted and I couldn’t find it.

  21. MidAtlanticBucsFan Says:

    @Jay Molina – The Joes and Ira honoured Mark in the beginning of the most recent Ira Kaufman podcast. Give it a listen.

  22. Lou. Says:

    @PassingThrough —

    More like a 7-2 off suit.

  23. Oneilbuc Says:

    Youngbucs . And yet you can’t name 1 time Brady played with a bad defense or even a 15th ranked defense. Billchick do was best to win games and that’s defense. Because defense win championship. When a quarterback know his defense will give him back the ball . It makes it easier to throw the ball to the ground and don’t mind if they have to punt . Versus knowing every time you score a touchdown your defense is going to give up a touchdown that’s the difference between winning and losing. Defense win championships. But at the same time it’s football season and our bucs are trying to win another superbowl. And right now that’s what I’m most interested in. In that includes the future wich Kyle Trask. That’s why I didn’t comment on the Jamies post. I’m tired of a divided fan base wich is only on this site . I’m looking for a site that brings unity amongst the fan base . Go bucs!!!

  24. orlbucfan Says:

    All the serious Bucs blogs have been honoring Mark Cook the last few days.
    Bossman2543 Says:
    August 16th, 2021 at 10:33 am
    Joe, could you lose the “Belicheats” moniker please. 20 years of NFL domination didn’t happen from cheating.
    You’re not a Bucs fan. It’s common knowledge among the educated faithful that Belicheat taped Bucs pregames back when Dungy was coaching them. BB was after Dungy’s defensive strategies. That was before the defective FB scandal.